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Ecclesiastes: Chapter 5 Verses 1-7

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 SIH TOTT ICONWhat Is Your Life If Not Lived For The Lord? (Part 14)

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

Solomon addresses himself as “the Preacher”.   He is the one that will proclaim the spritiual truths of God to those in his nation and to Christians throughout time.

Keep in mind, Solomon learned these truths by trying to find the meaning to life through experiencing all this world has to offer.  Solomon was uniquely suited to learn these lessons and share these truths with the people of God…

First of all, very few men possess sufficient wealth and power to be able to sample all this world has to offer (1 Kings 10:23).

Secondly, only Solomon and a few others throughout time, have been universally respected causing his teachings to be taken very seriously and thoughtfully by all (1 Kings 4:30-34).  (Keep in mind, even Christ Himself and His teachings were rejected by many of those around Him.)

Solomon was God’s man, in God’s place, at God’s time, by God’s grace, to learn this most important truth and proclaim it with authority to those he loved.  May we all listen carefully as Solomon reveals to us the true meaning to life and answer the question…  “What Is Our Life If Not Lived for The Lord ?”.

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

Eccl 5:1-7

Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.  Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.  For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.  When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.  Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.  Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore would God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?  For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God. 

 

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:

Solomon now begins to look at the making of vows (promises) to the Lord…

 

Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. 

When we come into God’s presence during times of worship, prayer and devotions, we are to be careful with our attitudes, motives, words and actions.  We are to possess humble spirits that are willing to hear and submit to the will of God for our lives.

It is far better to have a quiet humble spirit before the Lord, than to be pridefully active in outward promises and acts of service with no concern for God’s will for our lives.   In reality, religious acts done without faith, apart from God’s will for us are acts of pride and sinfulness.

 

 

Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.  For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words. 

When we speak before the Lord, we should not be rash (speaking without thinking) nor are we to speak hastily (quickly blurting things out without proper consideration).

We should always remember that our Lord is over us.  He holds greater power, authority, and ownership of us. He is our Creator and we are simply a part of His creation which resides on the earth.  Because of this we should “let Him do the talking” and desire to simply humble ourselves and learn His will for our lives.

We need to take great care to find the Lord’s will for our lives because there are many ways we can get sidetracked from obeying Him.

First of all, we can get sidetracked from God’s will when we get heavily involved in a multitude of affairs in this world.   When this takes place, the affairs of this world can quickly dominate all of our desires, hopes and dreams.

Secondly, we can get sidetracked when we foolishly speak things that cause us to stray from His will.  Instead of weighing all of our words and being certain they align themselves with God’s will, we speak quickly without thought.  In doing so, we utter sinful words, make promises we cannot keep, or promises that go in direct opposition to God’s will for us.

 

When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.  Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. 

Solomon emphasizes the seriousness of making vows to God. Solomon tells us that when we make a promise to the Lord we should quickly work to keep that vow and not delay.  To make a vow and delay in keeping it is the action of a fool.

Solomon again stresses the seriousness of the vow when he states “Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.”    

 

Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?  For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God. 

When we make rash vows that depart from God’s will for our lives, there are only two possible results:

  1. We will keep our sinful vow which we result in sinful actions on our part.
  2. We will attempt to change or rescind the promise. This is described by Solomon as “say before the angel, that it was an error”.    The “angel” here is referring to Christ (Mal 2:7, Isa 63:9, Gen 48:16 etc), the One to whom the promise was made.

In either case, we end up angering God and ruining our testimony and service to the Lord.

Because of all of this, Solomon comes to the understanding that although there are many different types of lofty promises, contracts, and dreams, when made “under the sun” (apart from the Lord and His will for our lives), are all simply acts of vanities with no lasting value.

A Christian is far better to learn to simply fear God and in doing so, he will learn to guard his mouth and only make, and then keep, promises to God that align themselves with His will.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

May we all learn to hold a proper reverence and fear of the Lord, and in doing so, learn to guard our mouths and be prepared to carefully make and keep vows that are pleasing to the Lord.

Solomon’s pursuit of the meaning of life included:

 

1. 2:1-3 The pursuit of carnal desires  (the base pleasures found in a fallen world)
2. 2:4-11 The pursuit of material possessions through human labors
3. 2:12-17 The pursuit of worldly wisdom, madness and folly
4. 2:18-23 The pursuit of responsible (frugal & wise) living to retain worldly goods Prt #1
5. 2:24-26 The pursuit of responsible (frugal & wise) living to retain worldly goods Prt #2
6. 3:1-8 A recognition of the Lord’s sovereign control over all life events   Prt #1
7. 3:9-15 A recognition of the Lord’s sovereign control over all life events   Prt #2
8. 3:16-22 A recognition of our need of Christ to see the nature and purpose of our life.
9. 4:1-3 A recognition that never being born is better than the sufferings of this life.
10. 4:4-16 The pursuit of earthly wisdom, diligence and living responsibly
11. 5:1-7 The pursuit of worldly vows, contracts, and promises

 

 

 

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